When two people get married they love each other and plan a “fairy tale” wedding, hoping to live happily ever after.  However, life does not always work out this way.  Life can make things difficult; we sometimes grow apart from our spouses and the only logical explanation may be sever the ties and get divorced, if living together in an unhappy marriage for the children’s sake is the alternative.

What is a divorce?

The statistics for divorce are outrageous – as many as 33% to 50% of couples today that get married will end up in divorce court at some time.  If divorce is in your future, you will need a qualified divorce attorney.  

Requirements for filing a divorce in Florida State

The major requirement for filing a divorce in the state of Florida is the residency requirement.  The laws of Florida require that one or both members of the divorcing party maintain residency for at least six months prior to filing a divorce petition.  The divorce petition can be filed in whichever county one or both spouses currently reside. 

Grounds for the filing of a divorce

As of January 6, 2016, the term “mental cruelty,” adultery, or chronic alcoholism are no longer reasons for filing a divorce.  The term that is used currently is “irreconcilable differences.”

The state of Florida is considered a “no fault” divorce state.  Making certain acts such as adultery not legal  grounds for a divorce;  therefore, if a couple chooses to divorce for this reason they would have to use the reason of irreconcilable differences. 


Florida legislation attempted to change alimony laws in 2012; however, the attempt to change it was unsuccessful but alimony can still be awarded based on certain conditions relating to situations of the marriage. 

The primary condition relating to a marriage in divorce proceeding is the length of time the couple was married.   For instance, in a marriage of less than 7 years, permanent alimony is almost never awarded.  There are other types of alimony as well.  In marriages over 17 years, the court will generally award permanent alimony if it is a reasonably appropriate amount. 

Children of a Divorcing Couple

The court no longer looks at the children in the marriage by using terms such as “child custody” or “visitation”; instead, when referring to the children of the couple the court calls it “parental responsibilities and sets up parenting plans.”


As an alternative to a litigation trial, couples will opt for settling their contested differences through the act of mediation.  This is done with a mediator — a qualified individual licensed within the state the couple resides.  The mediator is a neutral party that listens to the terms of the divorcing parties, then works with each member of the divorce to come to an amicable decision that will work for everyone involved. 

Most cases are resolved at mediation rather than at trial.

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